A culture jamming lawsuit is going forward after the judge who struck down a similar case ruled that the law in question did not violate the First Amendment.
The case, filed by the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, and the Center of American Progress Action Fund, challenges the constitutionality of the National Park Service’s 2010 ban on jamming of Native American cultural heritage sites.
The Jamming of American Heritage Sites Act prohibits sites from being used for commercial purposes without a permit.
The law was designed to address “the widespread and persistent practice of Native Americans in the United States to illegally disrupt, obstruct, and disrupt activities and activities of Native nations that are sacred to Native Americans,” according to a news release from the Center on Constitutional Rights.
But the lawsuit argues that the Act violates the First and 14th Amendments by prohibiting “a lawful assembly of a large group of people” that has “no legitimate purpose or purpose that could be sustained by the community.”
The lawsuit says the law “prevents the First amendment from protecting the freedom of the individual to express his or her opinion, to participate in a community’s business activities, or to engage in lawful expression.”
The plaintiffs are also seeking an injunction against Jamming on Native American Cultural Heritage Sites, which they claim violates the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause.
As of Tuesday, the case had not yet gone to trial.
“The law is being challenged on a theory that the First Amendments do not protect the right to assemble,” said Jennifer Granick, senior staff attorney at the Center.
“But the law that was challenged in this case doesn’t have that limitation.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, along with several other organizations, filed the lawsuit on behalf of three Native American tribes and two individuals. “
This is the first time we’ve seen a case like this, and it shows how difficult it is to fight back against this kind of government interference with First Amendment rights,” Granick said.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, along with several other organizations, filed the lawsuit on behalf of three Native American tribes and two individuals.
The groups say the law is unconstitutional on several grounds, including its broad definition of “Indian land” and its prohibition on people “knowingly engaging in activities related to the activities of the tribes.”
The law is also a violation of the First, 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments, the Center said.
A group of tribal members is represented by attorneys from the ACLU.
The lawsuit argues in its complaint that the National Parks Service is not required to conduct the inspections of sites that it chooses to close because it is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts.
The NPS, however, said it is subject to court orders to close certain sites under the law, which allows the agency to “take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, removing individuals or groups from the lands where the land is located, if they are determined to be in violation of NPS regulations.”
It said that “no other law requires the NPS to take any action,” including closing sites.
“These restrictions do not prevent the Nps from performing inspections of the sites where it determines they are in violation,” the NPDS said in a statement.
The plaintiffs in the case are represented by attorney Robert W. Kelly of the law firm Beckman, Kelly & Guggenheim.
“We believe that the Jamming restrictions that the NPs enacted are an unconstitutional infringement of Native peoples’ right to express their cultural heritage and our First Amendment right to assembly,” said Kelly.
“For years, the tribes have been attempting to obtain the government to enforce its land closing requirements.
We intend to continue our fight to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the lands on which we live.”
Kelly said the government’s failure to enforce the laws violates the 14th Amendment and the First.
“While the NPP is an agency, the government is not an entity, and therefore the agency cannot exercise its authority over the NPA,” Kelly said.
“To this end, the agency has never sought or applied for a land closing order against any individual or group, and has never applied for an order to close any sites.
Therefore, the NPH is not a ‘legislative agency’ or ‘law enforcement agency’ under the 14 and 14A Amendments.”